It finished 1-1 but what a cracker at St Mary’s.
1. Ronald Koeman should be in the running for Manager of the Year
After Brendan Rodgers took the title last May the Manager of the Year accolade may be viewed as somewhat of a poisoned chalice. Nonetheless Koeman’s Southampton this season have been nothing short of outstanding. An incredible start to the season had many wondering whether the Saints would be an unlikely contender for a Champions League finish. That is now more than unlikely after a run of poor results but when one considers the sales Southampton were forced into last summer and the fact that many were speaking of the St Mary’s outfit as relegation candidates preseason, Koeman deserves all the credit in the world. What a performance today.
2. Hazard is Truly Special
When Fabregas released the Belgian wizard in the final minute of the first half it simply seemed inevitable that the ball was going to end up in the back of the net. It is only with the most gifted players that this feeling of certainty is created. Hazard is at this point one of the top 3 performers in the league and he is a crucial element in Chelsea’s title charge.
3. Mourinho is Going for Broke
Call it arrogance or genius, Mourinho is not messing about. Chelsea want to win every game under the Special One and Drogba’s introduction for Mikel with twenty minutes to go was a statement of intent. Southampton were fantastic today but Mourinho didn’t even flinch. He has total belief in his men and even though the final result wasn’t the one he was looking for he threw the kitchen sink at Koeman’s men.
4. The League is Wide Open
Two days ago I wrote that the title is already Chelsea’s. I still believe that this is the case. However, a win today for City and two points dropped for the favourites would mean that the race will be a lot closer than many thought. Great news for the neutral.
5. The Saints are in the Running for Europe
Southampton’s form this season has dipped over the past few weeks but there is no doubt that they remain a top half side. If they can mirror today’s performance going forward Europa League should be a certainty and Champions League is by no means out of the question.